With back to school comes the parental food preoccupation once again


Since the kids started eating lunch at school going back several years now, a favorite (and requested) packed lunch has been what you see in the above picture:

a flat hamburger bun cut in half
a slice of roasted turkey
two thin slices of cucumber in between the turkey so as not to get the bread ‘wet’

Fine. I can do that. I make one sandwich, cut it in half, each kid gets a half, and that’s done. For a change of pace, they sometimes allow some salami slices, and occasionally a piece of lettuce instead of a cucumber, but that’s about the extent of it (in the sandwich department).

They will eat this more often than not until about the middle of the second term. Around the time shortly after March Break however, they start to complain about ‘another sandwich’ and I mix it up for them by offering crackers and cheese, instead, or something like that. (Don’t ask me what I pack them in June, by June no one cares about packed lunches anymore and I pretty much throw in whatever I can find including chips, store-bought cookies or other boxed items we rarely keep in the house).

Point is, the turkey-with-cucumber no dressing no butter no mayo no mustard has been a standard and so I fell back on that habit this week, too. Why fix it if it ain’t broke, kinda thing.

Today she remarked that she doesn’t like cucumber in turkey sandwiches.

I give up. Make your own damn lunch.

* * *

I made soup the other day, first pot of the season. Then I had two bowls for lunch. In the first bowl I threw in a handful of leftover wild rice and sprinkled it with parmesan cheese and it was filling, soothing and delicious.

Both kids won’t eat soup, especially chunky soup.


These are the same kids who will eat fancy Thai dishes, seafood, sushi, and deep-fried chicken from Popeyes. One kid likes gourmet sandwiches if served at home (like bbq-ed eggplant with feta cheese and herbs) but if I were to offer that up as a packed lunch I can guarantee he would not eat it. One kid will eat leftover pasta in a thermos, the other won’t. One kid will eat hotdogs all the time, the other occasionally only.

Look. Here’s the thing. I can’t look the other way when I have a competitive athlete on my hands who doesn’t eat his lunch. How can he get through a whole day of school, plus Phys Ed, plus running around at recess and lunch, on no food and then go play hard hockey at night? He gets low blood sugar and headaches and hockey is too expensive for me to not insist he eat an adequate meal at school. The other one, she gets whiny and sick-y too when she doesn’t eat properly but her school is closer (allowing for coming home for lunch occasionally) and she will eat several apples when hungry (she’s way pickier than the other one), so I’m less concerned with her opinions. Problem is, she is louder and way more demanding than the other guy who will just sit someplace and whimper…

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I should just do it, make some stupid lunch, have them eat or not eat it, and no you can’t have anything else unless you finish your lunch first. (I have done this in the past but for some reason, I’ve once again come to this place where I don’t enforce my own rule.)

Short term solution is to go back to that. The uneaten turkey sandwich above? Guess who will have to eat that after gymnastics tonight before getting her dinner served….and the other guy? I’ll sign him up for the hot lunch at school and forgo the entire fiasco of packing a meal for him. We will practice carrying a tray at home though, just in case. :)

* * *


On the second day of back to school…

…the bus isn’t late. (well, not that late. just a few minutes). So to celebrate, I’m doing this.coffeedonutThe tv remote is self explanatory, as is the coffee. The donut will probably kill me with a sugar crash in about 15 minutes time. But the mouse…argh. Just as I finished entering all the info into the e-calendar, I get the baseball schedule.

It never ends.

If I’m still upright and awake in 15 minutes, I’ll be on the hunt for a portable, insulated container in which I can send hot meals along to the rink. Yesterday’s traffic chaos had DH arrive home in time to literally pick up the kid and his gear and drive back out into the chaos to make it to practice. I sent a hot meal along in two kid-sized thermoses, but I wonder if there is such a thing as a larger one, maybe with compartments. There will come a time when the snow returns that both DH and Ben may have to eat in the car….such is the life of a hockey family, especially in the competitive leagues. But we signed up for this, which means I have to be prepared for this. Which is why I am sitting here with reinforcements doing all my research online first before venturing out to the stores. (I’m thinking Canadian Tire, SAIL, maybe other outdoor/adventure type stores…).


Solitude, a late bus, and some crafty independence

So here we are again. Back to blogging. Right?


My propulsion to write is not here. I don’t know where it went. Maybe I’ll find it again, or maybe I’ll write a bunch of drivel, store it in the draft folder, and leave it there indefinitely. Like I have so many times over the summer…

But summer is over now. Never mind the heat wave we’re in, the kids went to school today and we’re back to routine. I have to say, I wasn’t quite sure if I’m ready to leave the lazy days behind…having the kids around all the time hasn’t been as challenging this summer as it has when they were toddlers and preschoolers, and we did have them in occasional camps, but my favorite time is when we’re all together but separate, doing our thing, and giggling and eating together and connecting. The school year is all about schedules and routines and hockey and food and laundry and homework; the summer months were a breath of fresh air.

Yet I welcome the school year, like I do every year. The one thing I missed the most over the summer was my alone-time. Solitude re-charges me, and is essential to my well-being, and as long as I get some peace and quiet during the day, I find I can handle the chaos that comes when the kids get home easier to handle. Or the hoopla in the mornings… Continue reading

Sibling competition

I can’t figure it out.

Either, there is something wrong with the way I parent these kids of mine, or there is something wrong with the children.

All I know is, both of them are constantly in competition with each other about who got more than the other. More: attention from someone, any type of food, amount of drink in a cup, ice cream scoops, chocolate chips in their cookie, sprinkles, pancakes, Pokemon cards, Minecraft time, visits at grandparents’ house, playdates, you name it, they will argue about it.

So tiresome. Continue reading

Why I blog about my family

I would not be me in this current state if it wasn’t for them. They make me what, and who I am today because they are here. My kids are a part of me and therefore a part of my personality (and now a part of this blog).

I post on this blog because I need to say something about me. I do post about how the kids affect me, and because printed words written by me help me understand myself.

Thing is, I’m also a blog-reader. Continue reading

Tiny post-war house dilemmas

When people live in tiny homes, built during the post-war era (or thereabouts) a lot of things used to be smaller. Or missing altogether. Electrical outlets come to mind, for example. Although we are not exactly missing outlets at my house, it’s more like there’s not enough of them. I believe code today says you need one every six feet.  That would be great, luxurious even because our living room where we do most of our hanging out only has three outlets, and one doesn’t work. The other two are connected to power bars with lamps, computers and other energy-sucking devices plugged into them. That is simply not enough in today’s society.

Back in the post-war era, people seem to have managed with less stuff, and I’m not just talking about electronics. Continue reading